Today Microsoft released their newest browser: the Internet Explorer 9 (IE9). From now on people and companies can install and use this new browser. As with previous versions and other browsers this raises a simple question for everybody that is involved in web-enabled access to SAP: what will happen when the user is accessing the portal and the integrated applications with this new browser? Will it work? Will the browser render the page correctly or will the SAP system even show a not supported message?
For the SCN forums this means that we will start seeing messages like:
- ESS won’t show screen X for new users
- Layout is broken for some users
- Is IE9 supported?
For the teams responsible for supporting a SAP Portal installation in their company it means to prepare for a new browser. Although not showing up in the PAM (https://service.sap.com/pam) I believe we can be sure that SAP will start supporting IE9 in one of the next SPS releases. Until then, what can you do to ensure that your users can access the portal while using IE 9?
For intranet portals and companies where the IT department is responsible for distributing the corporate browser this is not a big problem as it takes time to roll out a new browser version (Windows XP is still the default OS in many companies and IE9 won’t run on XP). For those who are running an external facing portal (EFP) or do have an IT department that already rolled out IE9 (or worse: where the users have administrator rights), IE9 ships with – as does IE8 – a compatibility mode. There are 2 modes available:
- Browser Mode and
- Document Mode
The interessting mode is the document mode. When the page is broken in IE9 the user can manually switch to the rendering engine. You can also modify the HTML page sent to the user to ensure that IE9 will render the page correctly. You’ll need to put this:
to the response your application and portal are sending. There are several modes available that allow IE9 to render the pages as IE8 or IE7. Inserting this meta tag globally is easy with IIS and Apache, for a standalone SAP Portal it gets a little bit more complicated. Of course you have to ensure that your portal and NetWeaver support at least IE7 or IE8.